Butter Dill Beets and Carrots

I tell you what, I wish you guys could be here now.  What a lovely evening it is!!  I’m sitting here with a fuzzy puppy at my toes, the lingering scents of dinner in the air (seared pork chops and an awesome soup I can’t wait to share with you!), and my favorite part of all…Mr. Rodgers on the other side of the couch with his new “studious” glasses on, intently writing a beautiful song with his acoustic.  It is a wonderful day.  An unexpected day off, no less…considering there is a ton of snow out there and I work at an ice cream store.  😉  My tummy is full, but with healthy things.  And you know what?  My heart is full too…with healthy things.  I am so thankful for new years.  For people that inspire me to be better, and a God that gives me strength to pursue health and peace and loves me no matter how many times I screw up.

Sigh.  I am thankful.

Anywho…on from your glimpse into the Rodgers’ lives!  I hope all of you are enjoying this start to your year as well.  I pray you are blessed with new levels of HEALTH this year.  That is the mantra in our house for the year.  And if you let me, I would love to help you bring health to your house this year too!!  So let’s get started with some root veggies with a great flavor to boot!

Beets.  I don’t have much history with them.  I was always so scared of the smell that came out of the can when my mom ate the canned ones…so I never really gave them a chance.  Then came that one time Mr. Rodgers and I juiced for a few days after watching “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.”  (Very interesting, you should check it out!!  It helped us on our journey, even though we decided to go a more protein-heavy direction.)   I drank beet juice then…and actually didn’t mind it!!  It was a different flavor, but I grew to love it.  The husband, not so much.  He was not a fan of the beet juice.

But then I made these babies.  He WAS a fan of these.  Great flavor, I tell you!  Not to mention all the benefits of beets…they are very good for detoxing (which we all need to do after the holidays, good gracious!), and house a ton of vitamins apparently!  And I don’t think I need to tell you that carrots have benefits as well…especially for your eyes.

So whether you are an avid beet lover, or are fearful of them like me…you should give them a chance.  And roasting them should definitely be that first chance.  Here’s a great way to try:

 

What you need:

  • 1 lb baby beets, or 2 bunches “normal” beets
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots (yes, I used the snack kind for ease.  You can also use 1/2 lb the bunch kind if you desire.)
  • 3 Tbsp Grassfed Butter, such as Kerrygold
  • 1 1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp Dill paste, or fresh chopped (Warning: I have recently discovered that the herb pastes often have Dextrose in them 😦  So use at your discretion..they are great for when you are in a hurry or don’t want your herbs to go bad before you get to them…but fresh is definitely the better alternative health wise.  Sigh.)
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400*
  2. Clean, trim, and peel your beets.  Chop into pieces all about the same size…some you will halve, some into quarters, some into eighths, depending on the size.  You want to have roughly one inch wedges.
  3. Place beet wedges and carrots on foil lined baking sheet.
  4. Melt butter and add dill and garlic.  Whisk together.
  5. Dump butter mixture over veggies and toss around till everything is nice and coated.  Share the love baby!  Add some salt and pepper.
  6. Slide into your preheated oven and roast about 35 minutes, (stirring occasionally), or until the veggies are tender but a bit browned and crispy on the outside.
  7. Remove, and eat!!

Beets 1

 

Trim, clean, and peel those bad boys.  Chop into even sized wedges.

Beets 2

Look down and realize this looks bad…really bad.  I sent this pic to my mom and she got a good laugh about it.

Beets 3

Toss onto a lined baking sheet.  Add baby carrots.

Beets 4

Melt butter and add garlic and dill.  Whisk together.

Beets 5

Dump it all over.

Beets 6

Mix it allllll up. Add a little salt and pepper, naturally.

Beets 7

And roast!  About 35-40 minutes, or until starting to brown and crisp but tender inside.

Beets 8

Yeah baby.

Beets 9

And enjoy!!

 

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Curry Roasted Chicken and Root Veggies

Hallelujah!  I can not tell you how long a process it has been getting this recipe.  The first time I made it, I snapped some photos and posted them on facebook…and a few of my friends immediately commented, demanding the recipe because the pictures made them hungry.  That is always such a nice feeling haha.  Well, because I was in a frenzy trying to make the dish fast, I had read off the ingredients to Mr. Rodgers as I made it, and he took notes on his phone.

Then a few days later we went with our “second family” to their lot.  A few of us got tired earlier than the boys, who were deeply engaged in a game of Kan Jam.  So we took one of the cars and started driving back to the house…unbeknownst to us, with two of the boys’ phones still on the hood.  So my recipe went for a flight down the street and never saw the light of day again.  Woe is me!  But I had promised to post it, so I made it again!  However, the next time I sat down to type it up, I couldn’t find where I had written it down!!

I was about to give up on being professional and precise and say things like “just throw some curry powder in a pan!!!”  But I gave it one last try today, and was flipping through my “brain book” for work…and found it tucked away beneath my pages of social media notes and product updates and meeting minutes.  Wooo hooo!!  So, without further a do…LET’S DO THIS!

Oh ps…I made this up myself, which is EXTREMELY exciting for me!  And I discovered how much I love the amazingly diverse and strong flavor of the different root veggies!  This was satisfying, filling, and oh so healthy!!  Try it out!

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Whole Chicken, about 5 lbs
  • 2-3 Handfuls Baby Carrots (or roughly chopped big carrots)
  • 1 Sweet Potato, Diced
  • 3 Turnips, Chopped
  • 1 Onion, Cut Into Chunks
  • 5 + Garlic cloves, peeled (depending on how crazy you are about them)
  • 1/2 T Curry Powder
  • 1 T Red Curry Paste
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • Pinch of Cinnaomon (Husband LOVES cinnamon with his curry)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Squeeze of Cilantro Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425*  Remove the chicken from the package, make sure there are no surprises inside, and rinse it inside and out.  Sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Gather all of your beautiful veggies and start chopping!! (Leave garlic cloves whole, but peel them!)
  3. Melt your butter or coconut oil in the bottom of a large pan or wok.  Whisk in all your spices and the cilantro paste.
  4. Add diced tomatoes and coconut milk and stir in.  You should have a nice creamy sauce.  Heat until it starts to bubble.
  5. Dump in your veggies.  Stir so they are all coated with the curry goodness.  Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just starting to get tender.
  6. Place the chicken in a large casserole dish or cast iron skillet.  Dump the veggie mixture over the chicken, and spoon some of it into the cavity.
  7. Slide into your preheated oven and cook on 425* for 20-30 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 375* and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through and veggies are to your desired tenderness…probably about an hour-hour and a half.

Preheat your oven to 425*  Remove the chicken from the package, make sure there are no surprises inside, and rinse it inside and out.  Sprinkle it generously with salt and pepper.

Curry Roasted Chicken 1

Gather all of your beautiful veggies and start chopping!!

Curry Roasted Chicken 2

You should have a decent pile when you are done! 🙂  Big piles of veggies make me happy!

Curry Roasted Chicken 3

Melt your butter or coconut oil in the bottom of a large pan or wok.

Curry Roasted Chicken 4

Whisk in all your spices and the cilantro paste.

Curry Roasted Chicken 5

Add diced tomatoes and coconut milk and stir in.

Curry Roasted Chicken 6

You should have a nice creamy sauce.  Heat until it starts to bubble.

Curry Roasted Chicken 7

Dump in your veggies.

Curry Roasted Chicken 8

Stir so they are all coated with the curry goodness.  Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until just starting to get tender.

Curry Roasted Chicken 9

Place the chicken in a large casserole dish or cast iron skillet.  Dump the veggie mixture over the chicken, and spoon some of it into the cavity.

Curry Roasted Chicken 10

Slide into your preheated oven and cook on 425* for 20-30 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 375* and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through and veggies are to your desired tenderness…probably about an hour-hour and a half.

Curry Roasted Chicken 11

Now admire your handy work!

Curry Roasted Chicken 12

So many veggies!!  I seriously loved this meal.  Goes great with a hot pile of quinoa!

Curry Roasted Chicken 13

Let me know what you think!!

 

 

Mediterranean Steak Rolls

As you can imagine…this was a man pleaser.  I liked them.  Mr. Rodgers LOVED them.  But I guess…what man DOESN’T love steak?!  Especially when you stuff it with Mediterranean goodness.  So I suppose I can’t blame him.  They were like little rolls of flavor that were healthy, but also satisfying because it had that meatiness that you can just sink your teeth into.

You can’t go wrong with ingredients like these:

So, here’s what you need:

(adapted from familycircle.com)

  • 1 1/2 – 2 lbs thinly cut steak
  • 1 Package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 C Feta Cheese
  • 1 Small Jar Roasted Red Peppers, Chopped (I used about 2/3 of a 12 oz Jar 0f Marinated Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic Cloves, which I recommend.  You can chop the garlic up with the red pepper)
  • 2 Tbsp Dry Quinoa (I used this for a crunch, since I didn’t want to use bread crumbs)
  • 1 Egg Yolk (Thinking back, I’m pretty sure I forgot the egg in mine and it still worked haha.)
  • 3/4 tsp Garlic Salt, Divided (Or to taste.  I used extra in my stuffing)
  • 3/4 tsp Pepper, Divided (Or to taste.  I used extra in my stuffing)
  • Tbsp Olive Oil

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. Lay your steak pieces out on a clean work surface.  Now you may have one long piece of thin cut steak.  I thought I had about 3 pieces, only to unwrap it and realize I had 6-8 long VERY thin cut pieces, but it still worked great!
  3. Season your steak with 1/4 tsp each of the garlic salt and pepper.
  4. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together: Spinach (with all the moisture squeezed out first), Feta, Red Pepper, Quinoa, Egg, and another 1/4 tsp each of the garlic salt and pepper…
  5. Press the filling onto the steak, leaving an inch border.
  6. Roll steak up carefully and lay on a baking sheet seam side down.
  7. Rub the outside with oil and season with the last 1/4 tsp of garlic salt and pepper.
  8. Slide into your heated oven and cook until your desired amount of doneness…obviously this will depend on the thickness of your steak.  The original says 35 minutes, but that would have been way too long for the thinness of the steak I ended up with.  If you have a very thin meat, start checking around 15 minutes, if more of a medium thickness, go for 25-30.  🙂
  9. Remove, let rest for a few minutes, then serve, slicing if you have one long roll.

 

Peectures!

Steak Rolls .5

Here are the Roasted Red Peppers I used!  Definitely a great flavor!

Steak Rolls 3

Lay out your steak and season with garlic salt and pepper.

Steak Rolls 1

Throw all your stuffing ingredients into a bowl…

Steak Rolls 2

Mix up together…

Steak Rolls 4

Lay out on your steaks with a border…

Steak Rolls 5

Roll up and rub with olive oil, season with garlic salt and pepper again…

Steak Rolls 7

Roast in 425* oven until they reach your desired amount of doneness!!

Steak Rolls 6

Here it is accompanied by a lovely curry carrot soup!

Steak Rolls 8

Browned, meaty, stuffed, and delicious!!

Steak Rolls 9

Yum.

Steak Rolls 10

Cleansing Chicken Soup: Welcoming a Year of Health

Whoo!!! All that holiday food was DEEEE-licious! However, if you are like me after the holidays, you feel ever so slightly like, well…let’s see, how can I explain it? Death. Haha. Or chubby. Or like nothing actually tastes that good any more because of over indulgence. Or even if you have escaped all of those symptoms…you probably can feel the heart burn or lethargy!!

Now you know me, I do not oppose to the occasional treat! But most of us probably had a few too many, not-so-occasional treats. That being the truth for Mr. Rodgers and I…and wanting to start the year off on the right foot so I can meet my health goals and he can shed those stubborn pounds…we decided to do a cleanse. And not just any cleanse, the Maker’s Diet Cleanse. If you have been with me from the beginning, you will remember that most of my first recipes came from adapting Maker’s Diet meals. It has been the system that has worked for us the best. It is not strictly about limiting calories or eating less (in fact when we followed it to the T we ate more often than normal!)…and it is DEFINITELY NOT about losing weight while still eating whatever you want. (Don’t get me started…biggest peeve ever!) It is about making HEALTH the goal, not a number…with the belief that if you educate yourself, eat what will heal your body and make it flourish…that your body will find it’s perfect weight and you will live with energy and real LIFE!

If you want more information about the exact system of the cleanse, then check out The Maker’s Diet.  There are specifics of how many bowls of soup to eat on each day, specific salads, what days you can add in nuts, etc…  For now, however, I am just going to give you the Rodger’s Family version of the Maker’s Diet Cleansing Chicken Soup…(basically we just added a couple veggies for varitie’s sake ;))

 

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 Whole Chicken (Free Range) OR if you are like me and bones completely freak you out…about 6 Free Range Breasts
  • 3-4 Quarts Filtered Water
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 4 onions, Diced
  • 8 Carrots, Sliced
  • 6 Stalks Celery, Sliced
  • 2 Zucchini, Chopped
  • 1 lb Green Beans
  • 1 Small Bag Frozen Green Peas
  • 1 Carton Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed and Halved
  • 1 Bunch Broccoli, Chopped
  • 4 Inches Ginger, Grated
  • 4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Confession…I forgot this!)
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 2-4 Tbsp Sea Salt
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Bunch Parsley, Chopped

And here is how you do it:

  1. First, you are either going to need one GIANT pot.  I’m talking like Iron Chef sized.  Or you will need two normal sized pots.  I used my one soup pot and my large crock pot.
  2. Prep all your veggies as directed.
  3. Place chicken in the bottom of your pot (Or pots.  If you are using two pots, just split everything evenly between the two.)
  4. Toss in all of your veggies and seasonings except parsley.
  5. Pour in as much water as you can fit…at least to just cover the veggies.
  6. Let stand for 10 minutes.  Bring to a boil and remove the scum layer that rises to the top.  Then reduce the heat and simmer 8 – 12 hours.  The point here is to cook it as long as possible, because we want this to be as easy to digest as possible.  Add parsley 15 minutes before serving.

And there you go!!  A wonderfully cleansing soup!  Perfect for this weather…I heard today that 90% of the United States is frozen!!  Crazy!!  I haven’t worked in two days because most of my town is shut down…which is a big deal for the North Country I must say!

Mr. Rodgers and I are day 7 into our cleanse.  (It is a 10 day cleanse, soup 4 times a day with a salad at the end of the day).  I must say, I am really surprised at how I feel!  Usually when I take a stark 180* toward health, I get headaches, confusion, dizziness.  I have had one light headed moment, but for the most part…I FEEL AWESOME!  No heart burn, plenty of energy and motivation…it’s been great!! It’s been a little harder on Mr. Rodgers since he requires a larger calorie intake.  But I am so proud of us, and other than a few handfuls of fruit and nuts to get us through a lack of soup because of being snowed in we have really stuck to it!  Figured it was best not to starve ourselves haha.  I am so excited to start out CLEAN.  My insides feel so good!!  If you want to feel good too…look up the Maker’s Diet and make this amazing soup!  Cleansing is FAR from easy, but so worth it.  Let me know how it goes for you!

 

Here is one of my pots!

Photo (10)

Add your chicken!

Photo (11)

Add everything but the parsley…

Photo (12)

Fill with water.  Bring to a boil, clean scum off the top, simmer for 8-12 hours.  Add parsley 15 minutes before serving.